Ray Burton, a finalist in last year’s UK Worker of the Year competition, stopped by our offices on Thursday 9 January to spend his £250 prize at DickiesStore! We took the time to ask him a couple of questions while he was here, as Ray is certainly a Dickies man to admire.
A little bit about Ray
Ray has worked in a number of different capacities, as a factory operator, airport police officer, private security officer, prison officer, and in various jobs for British Rail. He is currently a Watch Manager for the Nottinghamshire Fire Service, where he oversees an 18 strong retained fire station. He is also the Site Manager at a large academy school where he works two shifts; 5am until 2pm and 1pm until 9pm, as well as extra time outside of these hours to allow the school to hold extra activities and events.
But his work doesn’t stop there! In his spare time, Ray also gives lessons in the school on fire safety, road safety and first aid, and does a lot of community safety work in the local area. He delivers training and teaching sessions at the fire station, and provides educational sessions to local groups.
Although he’s kept extremely busy, Ray says, “Overall, I really enjoy my numerous different roles and they continually keep me busy and provide me with new challenges.”
You’ve worked in the fire service for 30 years. You must have had some rather interesting experiences! Any particular callout/fire/risky experiences come to mind?
There’s been so many – about 5 years ago we were called out to a car accident which ended up being a vicious car fire that we didn’t expect. 6 out of 7 people died in the incident. I provided CPR to a baby and went with it in the ambulance but unfortunately the baby passed away. On the funnier side, I was called out to a stag night where two naked skinheads had handcuffed themselves to a lamp post and tried to climb over the post to become free.
What do you enjoy most about your jobs, both in the fire service and as a school site manager?
Helping people mainly, I like to feel I make a difference. I used to work in a prison working with people who had taken the wrong path; this experience has helped me set people down the right track at school.
Although free time is rather scarce, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Any favourite outdoor activities?
I love fishing, and visiting live rock events – I’m a big fan of old school rock – AC-DC and such.
What are your top fire safety tips, for both indoors and outdoors? What do you feel people should be more aware of when it comes to fire safety and hazards?
Check your smoke alarms regularly, have a minimum of two in your house. At festivals when people use disposable BBQ’s put out fully as people have left them going in their tents which leads to fatal consequences.
You also conduct road safety talks. What advice would you give our readers with regards to staying safe in this cold, rainy weather?
Make sure your vehicle is safe, regularly check your tyre pressure and windscreen wash, and make sure your car is safe to be on the road. When driving leave enough room between you and others while driving and in standing traffic. Especially be careful in winter with black ice and do the speed you think is most appropriate. Don’t do the speed suggested if you feel it unsafe to do so.
What do you plan to purchase with your Dickies voucher?
I bought some woolly hats, work boots and overcoats.
Your favourite outdoor spot in the UK?
Mainly Cornwall but if not, any place with a local pub and fishing spots.
Any last words for our readers?
WOTY (Worker of the Year) has been a great experience and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
Well there you have it, Dickies fans. We wish Ray all the best in his future endeavours.